I am currently at FRA (full retirement age) but not yet receiving social security benefits. My spouse will reach FRA in March 2025 at age 66 yrs 8 mths.
What is the best strategy to begin claiming benefits for each of us to maximize a total payout?
Hi @jerrygiordano ,
To better understand the possible strategies to maximize your benefits, we suggest you visit the Benefit Calculator site from the Social Security Administration . You can also use the following links to help you calculate your benefits:
Please keep in mind the tax consequences of your retirement benefits. If you will receive income from other sources up to 85% of your social security benefits may be taxable. Please review the following links for detailed information regarding retirement and taxes :
- Social Security and paying taxes in retirement
- Social Security and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits
Thank you and good luck !
Thank you for your question. Decisions about when to start receiving retirement benefits require careful planning to get the maximum benefits. When you say that you're at full retirement age, I assume you're in compliance with the Normal Retire Age chart from the SSA as shown here Normal Retirement Age .
Spousal benefits are subject to certain guidelines such as:
- Your spouse must be at least 62 to claim the benefit.
- Both of you must have been married for at least a year.
- You must be already receiving Social Security benefits otherwise cannot receive the benefit.
- The spousal benefit can be up to 50% if your spouse is between 66 and 67yrs when they start claiming the benefits.
- The spousal benefits will increase the longer your spouse waits to claim them and they get the maximum at age 70yrs.
- If your spouse has a work history, they’ll receive either your benefit or the spousal benefit, whichever is greater.
- Income disparities between the two spouses also need to be factored into the decision. When the higher earner files for benefits, the lower earner can then switch to spousal benefit, it that is higher that their own benefit payment.
The Social Security Benefits Calculator here Benefits for Spouses will help you make a better decision.
I hope the above gives you some clarity to the decision.
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